It only took a few short weeks for Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre to quadruple its output from vaccinating 3,000 people a day to nearly 15,000 – and that number is going to keep rising.
With the potential to eventually vaccinate up to 30,000 people a day, a big team is working to ensure that the lines keep moving and vaccinations keep being delivered into the arms of western Sydney.
The cool head responsible for the flow of people as smoothly and quickly as possible through the Vaccination Centre is operations director Megan Byrne.
“My role is oversight of the day-to-day operations, ensuring a constant and safe flow of vaccine recipients, and that it’s happening in an efficient way,” Megan explains.
“We have over 1200 staff on site, so I’m responsible for overall coordination of those staff and ensuring that translates into the best experience for our recipients that come through the centre.”
For many recipients the entire process takes just 40 minutes. One of the highlights for Megan is receiving real feedback like this from those who’ve been vaccinated:
I received my first dose of Pfizer last night at Qudos Bank Arena. The process was faultless and I was absolutely blown away at every single stage at how well set up and thought through everything was. It was one of the most impressive operations I’ve ever seen or experienced. I was even vaccinated 4 mins ahead of my timeslot! Please pass on my thanks to your team for playing such an important role in getting us vaccinated and keeping us safe.
“This makes me feel really proud of our entire team in all aspects of the clinic, from arrival through to vaccination and check out. It’s great to provide such a positive experience for our recipients, limiting the time from door to door,” Megan said.
A good example of the daily challenges she faces is the torrential downpour Sydney copped over August 24 and 25.
The team was prepared for rain, but the fierce wind blowing the rain horizontally at people queuing outdoors proved another challenge.
“Sometimes the best laid plans come unstuck. It’s about being adaptable and flexible. Yes there are a few bumps on the road but every day we learn,” Megan said.
“I’ve really enjoyed the challenge. Every day is so different, and I’m working with an amazing team.
We all have a common goal in mind to improve the lives of many and get back to life as we know it.”
This entire year has been a new challenge for Megan, who was the head of dietetics at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospital before stepping across to run the Blacktown Hospital Vaccination Clinic.
She said she appreciates the “wealth of experience” brought to the operation by the staff who ran the Westmead Hospital vaccination hub – the first clinic in western Sydney that has since relocated to Qudos Bank Arena.
She also values the partnerships with organisations including Qantas, PwC Australia, NSW Police, NSW Transport, Baxter Healthcare and Western Sydney University.
“I think I’ve been very fortunate to play a part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Megan said.
“But I’m looking forward to taking a holiday and reconnecting with my family and friends!”